I never came up with a word for this year. I still don’t know what I’d like to do, what I’d like to focus on, who I’d like to be more or less of. I don’t have a sense of a direction at all right now. I wouldn’t say I’m lost. I think I’d say I’m detached.

And yet, I finally started filling in a Theme System journal I’ve had for years. There are a few sections on each page. I fill the top two sections with a punch list– one personal and one professional– of the things that happened that day. It’s a freeform “not quite a tracker” log, with things listed like:

  • Personal
    • Listened to an album of music
    • Played 30 minutes of guitar
    • Cooked dinner for us without asking what she wants or if I should
  • Professional
    • Booked travel for two trips
    • Thoroughly reviewed a complex PR
    • Forgave myself for only doing my 6 hours of meetings

My rule is basically that anything that, upon reflection, contributed to the way I feel at the end of the day, list it.

The next, larger section I write out a narrative about my day and what I’m thinking or feeling. Sometimes this is half a page of writing, sometimes it’s three sentences.

The smallest section at the bottom I put a rating out of five and just a couple of words why I rated things that way. Something like, “3/5 quite productive, but spent a lot of time stressed about nothing”, or “2/5 wasted too much time, but I didn’t feel bad about it”, or maybe “4/5 it wasn’t spent on the things I planned but really pleased with what got done”.

This is the longest a “daily pages” style habit has stuck. We’ll see how much it continues. I have, at times, spent quite a bit of time writing in DayOne, but right now, it feels good that these are written by hand. I’m not sure if I would keep the habit if I type them, and I"m not sure yet if I want to enter them in DayOne or let them fade away as entirely ephemeral. It’s early enough that I could still type up what I can decipher of past pages if I change my mind.